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only a little remains

of the mythology
Makemake petroglyph
Makemake petroglyph carved on an Easter Island stone

We begin our search for the astrological mean of Makemake by looking at the mythology of the Polynesian peoples who once lived on Easter Island.

Here is a summary of the mythology of Makemake which I cobbled together from a variety of websites (thanks to the websites and, of course, our old friend Google):

On Rapanui (Easter Island) people believed in a variety of god or 'atua' Most prominent among the 'atua' was the Creator God, Makemake, who was a 'birdman'.

Makemake was born from a floating skull that was washed from a temple into the sea. He created the first humans. Together with his companion, the goddess Haua, he brought flocks of migratory seabirds to the island.

As well as the creator of mankind and Makemake was also regarded patron of the Bird Cult, the principal festival of Easter Island, and was worshipped in the form of sea birds, which were considered his incarnation. His material symbol, a man with a bird's head, can be found carved in hundreds of petroglyphs on Easter Island, human figures with the heads and tails of birds, into the rocks.

He was the god of fertility and the chief god of the "Tangata manu" or bird-man cult (this cult succeeded the islands more famous Moai era, when the famous stone heads were carved).

Makemake is also found on enigmatic rongorongo sticks of Easter Island referenced as a sun god whose companion is the moon goddess Hina.

The Easter Island's principal god was Makemake. The name does not occur elsewhere as the name of a powerful god, and some think that it is a local name substitution for the important Polynesian god Tane. This theory is supported by the myth that Makemake created man on Easter Island in a way similar to that used by Tane and Tiki to form the first woman in other parts of Polynesia.

Makemake procreated red flesh from a calabash of water. He mounded up some earth and from it he formed three males and one female. The process of mounding up earth is described in the local dialect as popo i te one, in which one is the general term for earth and popo is the local verb for heaping up, which in other dialects is aha.

From the wreck which remains of local mythology, there remain a few definite indications that the mythology of Easter Island contained fundamental elements that originated in central Polynesia.

Makemake was responsible for the fertility of food plants, fowls, and the paper mulberry from which cloth was produced. When crops were planted, a skull representing Makemake was placed in the ground and an incantation was offered, commencing, 'Ka to ma Haua, ma Makemake' (Plant for Haua, for Makemake).

Makemake was worshipped in the form of sea-birds, which may be interpreted as his incarnation. His material symbol, a man with a bird's head, was carved on the rocks at the Orongo village. Wooden images representing him were carried at the feasts. These various items conform to a general Polynesian pattern, but the bird-headed man is an expression of art influenced by local developments.

Some authorities associate Makemake with war and warriors, a warrior god. Human sacrifices were made in his honour and the material part was consumed by the priests.

We're still in early days with this planet. Join in the discussion about Makemake at this website's New Planet Forum.

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